Posts Tagged St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese

Twin Cities archdiocese puts forth amended bankruptcy plan / National Catholic Reporter

An amended bankruptcy plan for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese would potentially double the funds set aside for its creditors to the tune of as much as $133 million. Despite that increase, attorneys representing the 440 claimants say that the archdiocese’s contribution to the trust falls well short of its total assets, what they estimate above $1 billion, as does the per-person payout when compared to past similar settlements …

“While ‘at first blush’ the new proposal seems like a lot of money, it ‘falls so far short’ when compared to settlements in other dioceses, Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the creditors, said at a press conference Tuesday (Nov. 15) afternoon outside the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.

“‘This is a sham. It is deficient, and it’s misleading, and so we really have to call it out for what it is,’ he said.”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Napa County now home for John Nienstedt, Twin Cities archbishop who resigned under legal cloud / Press Democrat

Minnesota and then Michigan evidently grew too hot for John Nienstedt, a former Catholic archbishop who was accused of protecting predatory priests and who now cools his heels in Wine Country.

“Nienstedt came far west after departing Minnesota under duress and stopping briefly in Michigan. A newspaper report out of Battle Creek earlier this year revealed that only two weeks after Nienstedt arrived and took a temporary church post there he ‘left amid a swirl of criticism.’ Residents opposed to his assignment hounded the diocese and the media, and pulled tuition support for a school associated with the church, according to another news report.”

By Chris Smith, Press Democrat, Napa, California — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Child Victims Act sunsets within week of bishops’ abuse report / Voice of the Faithful

BOSTON, Mass., May 25, 2016 – Recent heightened public scrutiny of Catholic clergy sexual abuse has reinforced the urgency for the Church to address the scandal adequately, according to abuse victims’ advocate and Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful.

Within only a week, the “window” in the Minnesota Child Victims act expired, even as the U.S. Catholic bishops made their annual abuse report.

On May 24, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the three-year window created by the 2013 Minnesota Child Victims Act for reporting old claims of child sex abuse would expire May 25. During the three-year period, more than 500 claims were made against Minnesota Catholic clergy, according to the Star Tribune, which said, “In the three years since the law’s passage, the local church has witnessed an archbishop’s resignation, two bankruptcies and the public naming of more than 100 priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.”

The same day, the Associated Press reported that lawyers for abuse victims were accusing the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese of hiding more than $1 billion in assets “to avoid big payouts to abuse survivors as part of the church’s bankruptcy case.”

On May 20, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released its 2015 annual audit report on the implementation of its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report was not entirely complimentary of the Church’s efforts. The report showed a sharp increase in the number of new claims primarily from adults reporting past abuse. Francesco Cesareo, chairman of USCCB’s National Review Board, said the audit showed progress in creating safe environments for children but that very progress threatens complacency in implementing the charter’s guidelines.

As VOTF has pointed out before, the audit relies on self-reporting to assess compliance with those guidelines with little or no verification of the reported data.

Voice of the Faithful believes this focus on the scandal reinforces calls to action VOTF has made many times, including:

  1. everyone in the Church, lay and clergy alike, must be constantly vigilant in order to prevent abuse and its coverup and to report suspected cases promptly to civil authorities;
  2. the Church must stop blocking state statutes of limitation reforms that allow sufficient time for abused children to report the crimes;
  3. the Church must hold accountable not only the abusers, but also those who fail to report the crimes;
  4. the Church must provide abuse survivors and all those harmed by the scandal with resources necessary for healing.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Archbishop Nienstedt, Bishop Robert Finn have new homes outside former dioceses / National Catholic Reporter

Two U.S. bishops who prematurely resigned their posts amid clergy sexual abuse scandals each have found new landing spots outside their previous dioceses.

“A southern Michigan parish announced over the weekend that Archbishop John Nienstedt, formerly head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, will help out temporarily in the coming months, while Bishop Robert Finn, former head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. diocese, began last month as chaplain for a Nebraska community of women religious.

“Within the span of two months last spring, Finn, 62, and Nienstedt, 68, stepped down — years before the traditional age of 75 when bishops must submit their resignations to Rome — as shepherds of their respective dioceses, both of which teemed with anger and anguish for their church’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations.”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Voice of the Faithful hopes Nienstedt resignation is a signal for the Church

Voice of the Faithful Statement, June 15, 2015

The Roman Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful hopes the resignation today of St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt signals the Church is continuing to turn the corner on holding bishops accountable for covering up clergy sexual abuse.

His resignation comes just 10 days after St. Paul-Minneapolis prosecutors brought criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children; five days after Pope Francis set up a Vatican tribunal to judge allegations against bishops involved in the clergy sexual abuse; less than two months after the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who was convicted of covering up abuse; and the same day the Vatican announced former papal nuncio Jozef Wesolowski would stand trial at the Vatican for sexual abuse of children.

Pope Francis already has accepted Nienstedt’s resignation and the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piche and appointed another archbishop there to administer the diocese.

VOTF has long called for accountability for bishops who have covered up abuse, and for Nienstedt in particular, given longstanding revelations of his mishandling local clergy sexual abuse.

We only wish Nienstedt would have admitted his wrongdoing instead of standing by his previous actions, but his resignation no doubt is for the good of the Church and the faithful of his diocese, which he said in his statement was the reason for his resignation.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Nienstedt should disclose findings of abuse investigation / National Catholic Reporter

The time has come for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese to fully disclose the results of an investigation by a local law firm into allegations of sexual misconduct with adults by Archbishop John Nienstedt.

“The health of any organization, especially one holding itself to the high standards of a religious community that regularly presents itself as a public arbiter of personal morality, is dependent on mutual respect and trust. Those characteristics, in turn, are dependent on transparency and accountability, particularly on the part of bishops, who hold almost unlimited authority over the Catholic community.”

Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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Holding Church Shepherds Accountable / The New York Times

When Pope Francis met earlier this month with victims of rape and sexual abuse by priests, he vowed to hold bishops accountable for covering up the scandal instead of confronting it.

“A good place to start is with the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, where calls are mounting for the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt, a warrior against same-sex marriage who, it turns out, is facing accusations that he indulged in improper sexual conduct in the past with priests, seminarians and other men.

“The archbishop has denied the accusations as ‘entirely false,’ saying they date back over 10 years and do not involve minors or criminal conduct. But he felt obliged to hire a law firm to investigate them.

“Meanwhile, his handling of the pedophilia scandal is under fire from all sides. This week (week of July 14), an affidavit from Jennifer Haselberger, the former canon law chancellor for the archdiocese, accused the archbishop and his ranking prelates of systematically ignoring warnings about abusers in a five-year period, while failing to inform civil authorities of possible criminal acts.”

Editorial by The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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